Kyle Roller, who stands at 6-foot-1 and 235-pounds, was drafted by the New York Yankees in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Eastern Carolina University. When he signed with the organization he was sent to Staten Island to pursue his professional career. Playing in 67 games, Roller put up impressive numbers in his first season.
He batted .272 with 67 hits and carried an above par .367 on base percentage. As his 2010 campaign concluded, the 2011 season approached very quickly where he entered this past Spring Training.
When Spring Training wrapped up, Roller found himself on the low-A Charleston squad entering his first full-season stint.
He continued his success from 2010 and had a great year at the plate for the Riverdogs this season. After 50 games and when the first half of the season was all said and done, Roller bated .305, belting nine home runs and compiling 18 doubles out of his 57 hits.
Roller went into Charleston with a goal and it proved to him to have worked out for him.
"I definitely tried to become more consistent at the plate and to be a better first basemen," Roller said. "It's been something I've been working on day in and day out, trying to get better so I can be put in the lineup as a first basemen."
As Roller continued his 2011 season he realized that he has power at the plate but tried to improve on his approach at the plate first.
"I felt pretty good," Roller said. "I was just trying to be more consistent not worrying about hitting a home run every 30 at-bats and things like that. I tried to put the ball in play and let things happen and I thought I did a decent job at that in Charleston."
He did do a good job at that as the Yankees organization promoted him to high-A Tampa. Roller realized he had a good half-season with Charleston but never expected to get promoted. He knows that his job as a player is to control what he can and give it his best on the field and let the Yankees make the decision.
Roller has played in 13 games so far with the Tampa and has been playing first base. Although he is getting his feet wet in Tampa, Tampa hitting coach, Justin Turner, has realized a part of his game that stands out from the rest of the competition.
"He has amazing bat speed, I've never seen anyone with the bat speed that he has," Turner said. "The bat just comes through the zone in a hurry and you can hardly see the bat sometimes.
"He has big power; we're just trying to minimize some of the movement of the game so he can see the pitches better and square more balls up, because when he does, he's dangerous."
With Roller sometimes getting on extreme hot streaks in Charleston, he knows that the level of play in Tampa is a little higher and believes that he can have the same similar success in the Florida State League.
"I hope so, it's a whole different type of breed up here, pitchers throw harder and command is a lot better so you have to be a lot more patient at the plate," Roller said. "You have to be more selective at the pitches you swing at. Hopefully I keep my approach and hope good things happen."
As Roller continues to play games in Tampa, his hitting is very important to him, but improving at the first base position is what he would like to see himself work on while helping the team win.
"Most importantly I want to just go out there and play hard every day and hope I can help out this team anyway that I can," Roller said. "Also I look to improve on an everyday basis and become better defensively."
Roller Wants To Keep Same Approach
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